PC: Forbes

Disney anticipates making $30 million in ticket sales worldwide from the theatrical re-release of “Avatar” from 2009.

Box office analysts are buzzing over the $20 million worldwide total, even though local ticket sales, which are anticipated to total $10 million, are in line with expectations.

The re-release of the James Cameron-created eco-conscious science fiction universe is now seen as something of a litmus test for whether audiences still want to visit there. The first of the original movie’s four sequels, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” will debut in December.

Given that the movie was shown only in 3D this weekend, the performance was strong and should be encouraging for the sequel’s much bigger release in December, according to Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com.

After seeing Sunday’s anticipated numbers, box office observers concurred that “Avatar” certainly still has a following. However, it’s yet uncertain whether this desire will result in December ticket sales, particularly for 3D presentations.

But there are still unanswered questions, according to Robbins. “Given how re-releases, in general, have performed in previous years, we can’t confidently say the audience turnout here gave enough of a litmus test on exclusive 3D rollouts,” the statement reads.

In addition to its emphasis on 3D, Robbins suggested that it might be crucial for Disney to provide a variety of screen alternatives, such as 2D on expensive screens like IMAX. While there was a brief period after the first release of “Avatar” when audiences flocked to 3D showings, it has diminished over the past ten years.

However, this won’t be as big of a problem abroad. In overseas markets, particularly in China, 3D has continued to enjoy outstanding popularity. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that “Avatar” grossed a staggering $2.08 billion in revenue outside of the United States.

The fact that overseas ticket sales have outperformed domestic sales by a factor of two suggests that the audiences who helped propel “Avatar” to the top of the box office rankings will probably see “The Way of Water.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, noted that the “Avatar” franchise continues to have strong viewer attention on the big screen. The $20.5 million in overseas revenue this weekend provides compelling evidence that the new movie might have a huge global opening in December.